Rhett was up early this morning. There was about an hour between when I got the other kids off to school and Andy waking up that we made a bed on the floor in the living room and watched Sesame Street.
When Rhett gets up the first thing he likes to do is take his jammies off, and just lie around in his diaper. (He likes his morning back and tummy rub.) Today as the house was silent albeit for the sounds of Baby Bear and Telly, whining back and forth to each other about going to the monster sing-a-long at Monster Day Care. Which, Baby Bear did NOT get invited to by the way. However come to find out later in the show that his invitation just got send to a Bebe Beara.....And he got her 20% off drapes flier instead. (This is my life folks.)
Anyways back to the subject here.....
As I was rubbing his back I traced my fingers along his scar from his latest surgery. It's healing well. Still bright purple, but it looks good. Then he rolled over for his tummy rub. I'll be the first to admit. It's hard to rub his tummy. It looks like a battle zone. Most of his heart surgery scars are just faint white lines, and you can't see them unless you are very close to him. But when you touch him you can feel each and every one of those scars no matter how small they are.
There's the big line down his chest, which only has a small space of about 2 cm before his next line from his Nissen starts. This one is still fresh as well and bright purple. Then there are all of the little tiny dots from his pacer wires, and the lines, as well as small drains that were there just below his ribs. I trace the circles from his chest tubes that look like he had bullets rip through the sides of his ribs. He giggles as I work my way up to his armpit for a little tickle.
Then last but not least I trace the scars from his hernia repair. This surgery was the scariest one for us, not the surgery itself of course, but the events that happened after the surgery was done. It was scary not knowing the outcome and wondering if we were ever going to get to bring out little boy back home with us. Wondering if he would ever be put in my arms again, as a squirmy wriggly little toddler. Not the limp sedated and swollen little boy that was lying in his crib fighting for his life.
Rhett is only three years old. I am only 29 years old...(for a couple of weeks anyways) and I never thought that I would be one of those parents. One of the ones who had a second life that revolved around health care and hospital stays. I didn't think I was strong enough for it. There are days that I still think that. This morning was one of those days. It crossed my mind as I sat there in awe of all that this little boy has gone through and continues to go through. He is so strong. He just keeps getting knocked down. I feel so guilty every time we walk him to the operating room. He seems so innocent, not knowing what is going to happen to him.
He plays in the playroom while we wait for the Dr's and anesthesiologists to come and talk to us about the procedure and all of the risks. We know the drill. They ask us if he will need some happy medicine for him to go back to the O.R.
Of course not we say, he doesn't care. We always get to walk him to the surgical doors, at which point my stomach feels like it is dragging on the floor, and I beg the anesthesiologist to take good care of him, and be careful. They usually know the history, and understand my fears, and that puts me at ease, just a little. At that point I hand my 29 lb bundle of fun to them. He goes happily, and blows me kisses, tells me bye and turns to grab the stethoscope to listen to whoever is carrying him. He knows just what to do, and where to put it.
I turn around to walk to the surgical waiting room, often wondering why he has to go through this again. The receptionist knows us, when I walk in she says, "So what's Rhett having done today?" I tell her, she asks if he is going to the PICU afterwards, yes of course he is. She asks if I remember the drill, yes of course I do, and I got and sit and wait. Wait until I get to see him again. Wait to see that new scar that I will eventually trace during our morning ritual.
He is always livid when we get to the PICU. He is trying to stand up and rip everything off, even though he just had surgery. But his eyes light up the second he sees me, and I crawl into bed with him. He snuggles up close, and shows me his owie. I grab his head and pull it to me and kiss the top of it. I tell him, "I know, baby, I know."
He eventually gives into sleep and I lie there with him watching the monitors making sure he remembers to breathe. I wonder again, if I am strong enough to do all of this. Why God keeps handing out these trials to us.
My only answer is that I am not strong enough yet. I am not the person that He wants me to be. I am not quite there yet. But I am getting there I can feel it.
We are not finished with procedures yet. We have another MRI coming up in November that will determine whether or not he will have to have the cyst removed from his brain, and he is going to have to have some major dental work done. His teeth have rotted because of all of the reflux issues that he had.
We will make it through it, because we have to. I know that Rhett is always fighting right along with me, and I know that we both chose this life before coming here. We'll be okay. Our whole family will, because we live our life not day by day, but moment by moment and breath by breath. We take the time to appreciate the little things that many people just pass by.
That's how we make it.